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After researching pet care industry trends and carefully planning the venture to serve dogs and their busy owners, Amy Nichols founded the first Dogtopia® (formerly Happy Tails Dog Spa), a full-service dog day care, spa and boutique, in June 2002.
Under her and her management team's leadership, vision and drive to expand the dog day care industry, the company has experienced overwhelming success and growth. Because of its unique product and recipe for success, Dogtopia® began offering franchises in April 2005. The franchise company, Happy to Be Here, Inc., is able to offer franchises nationwide and is expanding rapidly. It is anticipated that because of the success of both companies, 25 franchises will be in operation or in development by 2008.
From its inception, Dogtopia® has been committed to giving back to the local as well as international communities. In 2005, Dogtopia® created a permanent charitable arm to the company called K-9 Support , Inc. to raise funds, collect supplies and generate awareness for working dogs worldwide, including military dogs, rescue dogs and Seeing Eye dogs.
The company is also proud to sponsor local foster dogs and support local rescue missions. From hosting safety classes to planning fundraising events such as "dog washes" and "K-9 fashion shows," Dogtopia® is always ready to pitch in and help dogs in any way they can.
Products & Services
Most dogs spend their days bored and lonely. And by the time you get home from your busy day, your dog wants to play. Meanwhile, you need to make dinner, return phone calls, and relax after a long day.
Dog daycare is the solution. Drop your dog off at Dogtopia® and let him spend the day socializing with other dogs, running around and burning off plenty of pent-up energy. That way, an evening in your home is relaxing for both you and your pooped pooch.
Dogtopia® requires an evaluation of all dogs prior to them attending dog daycare or boarding. The evaluation comprises a review of evaluation forms, verification of required vaccinations and an introduction between your dog and the others who spend the day here.
During the day, your dog will be placed into a play group that is best suited to his temperament and size. Dogtopia® has four daycare rooms ranging in size from 800 square feet to 2,000 square feet, with styles to suit every dog. We have the "gymnasium," the largest of our rooms, that features padded flooring and lots of toys and equipment. We also have a playroom for smaller dogs and gentler players and the "lounge" for dogs who just want to relax with company and watch dog videos.
Each playgroup goes outdoors for a scheduled bathroom break in the morning before heading off to playime. After several hours of romping, sniffing and lounging, all dogs take a well-deserved nap between noon and 2:00 p.m. During this time, dogs receive requested snacks or medications. After naptime, the dogs are back outside for another bathroom break, with possible ball throwing or "swimming," depending on the weather.
If you are going out of town for a few days, send your dog to Dogtopia® for dog daycare and overnights. That way, they can get a vacation too!
Your dog will play with others in daycare throughout the day, and then sleep with others or by themselves throughout the night. We provide the food, snacks and bed for your dog or you can bring your own.
Dogtopia® is an "open" environment without individual kennel runs. The staff evaluates all dogs prior to dog daycare or any overnight reservations.
All dogs deserve to look and feel their best. After a spa treatment at Dogtopia®, dogs come home feeling pampered and relaxed.
Dogtopia® is pleased to offer positive reinforcement training classes in select locations. Training classes are held at a variety of convenient times. All classes are taught using positive reinforcement only, with no use of aversion.
The Dogtopia® boutique is the perfect place to find a wide variety of unique items for your pampered pet. With toys, grooming supplies, food, and treats - you will find everything you need to keep your best friend happy and healthy. Dress up your classy canine with our large selection of sweaters, collars, leashes, bandanas and more. Don't forget to pick up a gift for your favorite dog-lover or purchase a Dogtopia® gift certificate so your friends' dogs can enjoy dog day care and boarding services too.
Training & Support
Dogtopia® requires all franchisees to participate in a comprehensive training course that lasts approximately three weeks, which is separated into two parts. The first part focuses on actual playroom management including dog behavior, pack management and general care of the dogs. It is of the utmost importance that every dog in care is taken care of exactly as they are at home. The second portion will be business management training to include your financial reports, customer service aspects, HR and payroll.
Happy To Be Here, Inc. will provide onsite assistance for two weeks before and after your grand opening. The week of the grand opening we will be onsite with you to support the development of your grassroots marketing program. The follow-up visit will occur after you¹ve reached certain revenue goals. Our management team also periodically schedules visits throughout the course of the franchise term. These visits are designed to provide operational assistance and guidance in various aspects of the Dogtopia® business system.
Our management team is always only a phone call or an email away to offer advice or suggestions on how to more effectively run a franchise. From customer service inquiries to marketing ideas to handling media inquiries, our team is always available to offer their unique expertise. All franchisees receive a Dogtopia® Operations Manual that contains specifications, standards, procedures and recommendations to aid franchisees in the operation of their Dogtopia® franchises. Our management team also actively seeks opportunities to promote and expand the Dogtopia® brand. Often, we ask our franchisees to participate in the marketing programs that promote Dogtopia®, helping to expand the franchise system.
Franchisees have access to a broad range of professionally designed marketing materials for use at their business, such as brochures, print advertisements, press releases, newsletters and other print publications - all developed at the corporate level and included with the royalty fee. You can view and example of our Everybody Wants To Be A Dog campaign here. Because it is vital to maintain a consistent branding campaign across the entire franchise system, all marketing materials must be ordered through the corporate office or approved by the management team for use.
We serve a high-end, web savvy customer and often a potential customers' first impression of your business may be your website. Our outstanding consumer websites are created by professional web designers and are designed to help promote the Dogtopia® brand. Informative and easy to navigate, these websites provide comprehensive details about the many programs available at Dogtopia®. Through these websites, your customers will be able to download evaluation forms, view your personalized photo gallery and learn more about you and your business.
Happy To Be Here, Inc. has designed an effective and easy-to-use business system for franchisees. As a franchise owner of Dogtopia®, you will receive unparalleled support from our management office. Other benefits as a franchisee include: use of the trademark Dogtopia® name, benefits of our PR and advertising campaigns, corporate purchasing power, equipment and furniture specifications, access to qualified, approved vendors, site selection assistance, interior design consultation, corporate manuals, unique marketing strategies, extensive training and ongoing product development.
The pet industry's figures are soaring and there is no end in sight. Last year, total pet expenditure reached $36.3 billion and more and more dog owners are providing dogs with the kind of care they would give their own children, only adding to the growing need for dog day care and boarding services. Dogtopia® serves this exciting market with well-executed services delivered with the personal touch that only an owner/operator can provide.
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